The Golden Age of Variety

Walk with Frank down memory lane as he recalls some of the enticing acts who appeared at the Bodger's Spinney Variety Theatre during its golden age: Nobby Puck : The Human Windsock. Bells clanged whenever Nobby Puck appeared on stage. For ten awful days in the summer of 1907 he was held ... Read More...

The Boobrie

Is it a giant cormorant? A particularly vicious mosquito? Or something else? The Wikiworm consults this  weird Wikipedia article to get to the truth behind the fantastical boobrie... The boobrie is a mythological shapeshifting entity inhabiting the lochs of the west coast of Scotland. It commonly adopts the appearance of a gigantic ... Read More...

Dear Bonkers Maisie

A musical treat for you today, as The Dabbler presents Dear Bonkers Maisie, music by OutaSpaceman, lyrics by Frank Key... I have long believed that what the world lacks is a lovely romantic song about lead poisoning, so in the end I had to write one myself. Dear Bonkers Maisie, thou art ... Read More...

Whither Art?

This week, Frank is unafraid to confront the most fundamental questions related to the human condition... Whither art? It’s a question I often ask myself, usually when tucking into a plate of smokers’ poptarts or other breakfast-based snack food. I like to get art out of the way early on in the day, ... Read More...

Tarka the Rotter

He wrote animal stories of exquisite prose, yet Henry Williamson ended up as an overt, unapologetic Nazi. In this Dabbler classic, Jonathan Law looks at the good and the (alarmingly) bad sides of the author of Tarka the Otter... If we’re honest, most of us have at least one friend that we ... Read More...

Who was the Eighth Dwarf?

  Just who was the mysterious 'Eighth Dwarf'? Frank attempts to shed some light on this much-discussed question... Over the years, there has been a great deal of discussion about the exact identity of the so-called “fifth Beatle”, as there has been regarding which pinniped deserves the title “the seventh seal”. Much ... Read More...

Adrian Carton de Wiart: Happy Odyssey

Gaw pays tribute to one of the most remarkable soldiers this country has produced... Adrian Carton de Wiart's soldiering career extended from Boer to Second World Wars, taking in many events of large historical importance. He was usually to be found in the thick of the action, winning a VC during the ... Read More...

Songs My Mother Taught Me

Today, a classic from the Frank Key oeuvre.  For more such uncategorisable fictive brilliance, you should buy the Dabbler Editions ebook By Aerostat to Hooting Yard: A Frank Key Reader... My mother had a tin ear and a voice like a corncrake. In spite of these shortcomings, she saw it as her maternal ... Read More...